• synonyms


[fee-aht, -at; fahy-uh t, -at]
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  1. an authoritative decree, sanction, or order: a royal fiat.
  2. a fixed form of words containing the word fiat, by which a person in authority gives sanction, or authorization.
  3. an arbitrary decree or pronouncement, especially by a person or group of persons having absolute authority to enforce it: The king ruled by fiat.
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Origin of fiat

1625–35; < Latin: let it be done, 3rd singular present subjunctive of fierī to become

fiat justitia, ruat caelum

[fee-aht yoo s-tee-tee-ah roo-aht kahy-loo m; English fee-aht juhs-tish-ee-uh roo-at see-luh m, fahy-uh t]
  1. let there be justice though the heavens fall.
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fiat lux

[fee-aht loo ks; English fee-aht luhks, fahy-uh t]
  1. let there be light.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for fiat


  1. official sanction; authoritative permission
  2. an arbitrary order or decree
  3. mainly literary any command, decision, or act of will that brings something about
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Word Origin

C17: from Latin, literally: let it be done, from fierī to become
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for fiat


"authoritative sanction," 1630s, from Latin fiat "let it be done" (also used in the opening of Medieval Latin proclamations and commands), third person singular present subjunctive of fieri, used as passive of facere "to make, do" (see factitious). Also sometimes a reference to fiat lux "let there be light" in the Book of Genesis.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper